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Stuck at that editions crossroads.....still.

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Meph
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Stuck at that editions crossroads.....still.

Post#1 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:54 pm

So a little backstory first. I started with Moldvay Basic, moved to 1E, then to 2E, and eventually settled with a 1E/2E hybrid that I played for 20 years. After a long break from gaming I decided to return to a 1E game as a player and quickly assumed the role of DM and back to 2E we went. After about 2 years with that campaign my group asked to try 5E so we jumped in head first. I hated it and part way through Hoard of the Dragon Queen I threw in the towel and went back to a 2E campaign which we ran for another year. The group kinda split up at that point and my new group was interested in trying out 5E again. This time we did Lost Mines of Phandelver. The campaign itself went well until some player drama ended the group. You can see my campaign log in the 5E forum. It went well and I have a decent grasp of 5E now. That brings us to present...

I haven't played since last year and am starting a new group in the fall. I was planning to go with 5E again but I have this hard time NOT spending money. Since I stopped several adventure paths as well as source books have come out. I hate the fact that WOTC has decided to sprinkle Player Subclasses, Races, Spells, Monsters, etc through out all of their books. It's good business giving EVERYONE (Player and DM) a reason to own the book but it's just pissing me off. On top of that a lot of the class options seem to be tested even less than the 2E Complete books were, which means a lot of them suck. Of course after decades of 1E/2E my library is quite extensive and if I never wanted to spend another cent, I have enough materials to go forever. The more I think about my game, the more I think about how much I hate some of the 5E mechanics. Every class has some kinds of magic and many of them are loaded with magic. Healing is VERY abundant and they traded magic item power for class abilities, which means it's very hard to take away.

The one thing that I absolutely love about 5E is the way they expanded monsters. I love that zombies when reduced to 0 make a con save and if they succeed they only drop to 1HP. My players nearly crapped themselves when they encountered a small group of zombies and the "pushovers" got right back up and kept attacking. I liked that Goblins can disengage or hide as a bonus action on their turn. My players again about crapped themselves when they were ambushed by 4 goblins (again pushovers) only to have them fire arrows and immediately hide. Made for some serious scrambling as the players went on the defensive as the goblins went all guerrilla on them. Kobolds getting pack tactics, Bugbears getting surprise damage, etc. These are all minor things but they really made a difference when the veteran players no longer knew what to expect. It also made lower level creatures viable at higher levels which was always an issue in older editions. Of course these are all things that I can implement in a 2E game without too much work but I need to be careful not to completely overpower the players.

So I guess where I am at is that my true love in this game is 2E. I know some players, especially newer players want to play 5E. I don't hate it but it just doesn't "feel" right to me like AD&D does. I am pretty sure I know the answers here but give me some opinions. My original thought was to play 5E and house rule it into what I want but that means eliminating some races, changing some classes and eliminating the paths and backgrounds that don't fit in my campaign. Toning down magic as well as house ruling healing and rest. It just seems like a LOT of work to get to the style I like so much when I can just play 2E and maybe add the few features that I do like. So what do you think? I am not sure why I am having such a hard time with this.

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JadedDM
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Re: Stuck at that editions crossroads.....still.

Post#2 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:28 pm

The easiest solution is to run a 5E game and a 2E game. But I'm assuming you don't have time to run two games, or else you'd have thought of that already.

I'm sort of in the same position. I've been running nothing but 2E for a couple of decades now. But recently I've been making an effort to learn 5E. Part of this is because it's been more and more difficult to even find 2E players as the years go by. Most D&D players these days weren't even born yet when 2E was still active. (Heck, one of my current players wasn't even born yet when 3E was active! :lol: )

Plus, when I do find 2E players, they tend to not like all of the changes I've made. I've house-ruled the hell out of 2E over the years, so the point it's nigh unrecognizable. So that was my dilemma. Do I continue running my games in a heavily house-ruled dead edition that's older than most of my players, with an ever shrinking pool of potential players? Or do I upgrade to the newest version, and start work on heavily house-ruling the hell out of that? At the moment, I'm doing both. I'm running three 2E campaigns at the moment (two home-brewed, one Dragonlance), and also running Lost Mines of Phandelver (5E) as well as Doom of Daggerdale (2E), and in the background, I'm working to convert my home-brewed setting into 5E so I can run a real campaign with it, as well.

Will I ever drop 2E entirely in favor of 5E? Probably not. At least, I have no plans to do that any time soon. But I suspect that, given a few more years, my 5E games will probably start to outnumber my 2E ones.

I suppose the only real advice I can give you, is to just consider whatever works best for you, your group, and what kinds of games you want to run. I don't think there's really any perfect fit either way.

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Billy_Buttcheese
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Re: Stuck at that editions crossroads.....still.

Post#3 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:07 pm

Meph,
I agree with JadedDM as far as not finding an ideal solution. If you follow and/or read any of my or Halaster's posts, you'll figure out relatively quickly that we are deeply embedded in the old school camp. Yes, the earlier editions had some annoying quirks and odd rules, most of which are house ruled away. I have heard lots of positive things about 5th Ed and if I didn't have a literal boatload of old adventures and supplements, I would seriously consider giving it a try. But I refuse to spend more money on my hobby when I have already invested so much in the classic stuff.

As you pointed out, all of those monster tactics can be utilized in 2nd Ed. pretty easily. The kobold tactics is essentially the entire premise of the Dragon Mountain box set. To a person, all of my players have looked at kobolds with new respect after surviving that meat grinder. Bugbears 'move silent' ability has been utilized by every DM I know to wake cocky players up. Same with mass goblin attacks/retreats. I've always loved the look on my players faces when they aren't able to mow those lowly, weak monsters down like sheaves of wheat. Open-mouthed, raised eyebrows and gasps of unbelief when I tell them how much damage their PCs just absorbed. Priceless!

Perhaps you might consider getting your player's opinions by a secret ballot or something for the version you play. If you already have the 5th Ed books and that's the edition most of your group wants, try to look for ways to make it feel more old school to you. Most players that aren't interested in being DMs would never know if you were house ruling something on the fly anyway. Face it, every version is house-ruled to some degree.

Ultimately, if you and your group are having fun, then you've accomplished your mission, no matter what version you play.

Let us know how you work it out and good luck!

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Meph
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Re: Stuck at that editions crossroads.....still.

Post#4 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:44 pm

Well, I reached out to my oldest friends started D&D with me back around 12 years old. We all played together through college and only one of them has been in my adult group. None of them have played anything past 2E and none of them care to DM, so it's really my call. I have just about every hardcover for 1E/2E and have most of the 5E books so it just comes down to my preference, which I think will be 2E. It's just like old hat to me.

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JadedDM
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Re: Stuck at that editions crossroads.....still.

Post#5 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:13 pm

Whichever way you go, let us know how it turns out! :D

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Halaster-Blackcloak
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Re: Stuck at that editions crossroads.....still.

Post#6 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:24 pm

Meph wrote:

I hate the fact that WOTC has decided to sprinkle Player Subclasses, Races, Spells, Monsters, etc through out all of their books. It's good business giving EVERYONE (Player and DM) a reason to own the book but it's just pissing me off. On top of that a lot of the class options seem to be tested even less than the 2E Complete books were, which means a lot of them suck.


You hit the nail on the head - good business for WOTC. It's all about selling books, not producing quality. These are not the early TSR days. Nowadays they crank out junk to keep people buying. And so they lose a huge customer base every few years and need a new edition. WOTC doesn't care about quality. They care about keeping you addicted to their product. Hence, a new edition every few years instead of every few decades.

Of course after decades of 1E/2E my library is quite extensive and if I never wanted to spend another cent, I have enough materials to go forever.


Same here. I can't live long enough to use all the material I have, unless I uncover the secret to immortality. Even then... :lol:

The more I think about my game, the more I think about how much I hate some of the 5E mechanics. Every class has some kinds of magic and many of them are loaded with magic. Healing is VERY abundant and they traded magic item power for class abilities, which means it's very hard to take away.


One of the major reasons I never stopped playing 1E/2E. From 3E on it's all about powers and feats. It's too easy and too simple. Sounds like you know what edition you want to play though, after all.

The one thing that I absolutely love about 5E is the way they expanded monsters. I love that zombies when reduced to 0 make a con save and if they succeed they only drop to 1HP. My players nearly crapped themselves when they encountered a small group of zombies and the "pushovers" got right back up and kept attacking. I liked that Goblins can disengage or hide as a bonus action on their turn. My players again about crapped themselves when they were ambushed by 4 goblins (again pushovers) only to have them fire arrows and immediately hide.


I'd imagine that could easily be incorporated into your 2E campaign.

So I guess where I am at is that my true love in this game is 2E. I know some players, especially newer players want to play 5E. I don't hate it but it just doesn't "feel" right to me like AD&D does


Nothing after 2E ever felt like AD&D. It can't, because it's a totally different game, just using some similar mechanics tacked onto the same name.

So I guess where I am at is that my true love in this game is 2E. I know some players, especially newer players want to play 5E. I don't hate it but it just doesn't "feel" right to me like AD&D does. I am pretty sure I know the answers here but give me some opinions. My original thought was to play 5E and house rule it into what I want but that means eliminating some races, changing some classes and eliminating the paths and backgrounds that don't fit in my campaign. Toning down magic as well as house ruling healing and rest. It just seems like a LOT of work to get to the style I like so much when I can just play 2E and maybe add the few features that I do like. So what do you think? I am not sure why I am having such a hard time with this.


Sounds to me like you know just what to do. I'm sure you can incorporate the changes you mentioned earlier into your 2E game, pretty easily. I always say, work smart, not hard. :wink:

JadedDM wrote:

I've house-ruled the hell out of 2E over the years, so the point it's nigh unrecognizable.


We all tweak and house rule whatever edition we play (I've almost never heard of someone playing strictly BTB 100%). But - and I am not trying to be snarky - if you've house-ruled 2E that extensively, than can we even still call it 2E? Sounds like a totally different edition to me, what you're describing.

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JadedDM
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Re: Stuck at that editions crossroads.....still.

Post#7 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:41 pm

Maybe so. And that's sort of part of the problem. If I say to someone, "Hey, want to join my 2E game?" It almost feels like false advertising, or even outright lying. I need to then add a whole bunch of disclaimers, or else they walk into my game with different expectations and sometimes get upset or annoyed by it.

But it affects me the other way, too. Because I've had people turn down joining my game, because they hear '2E' and immediately dismiss it, because they think I'm using level limits, etc.

I actually tested this once. I needed some new players, so I put an ad with the title, "[AD&D 2E] Heavy Roleplay Game" and got like two hits (one of which dropped out when he didn't roll very well). So then I put up the exact same ad, but only changed the title to "Heavy Roleplay Game (Politics, Intrigue, Religion, etc.)" instead. The ad did mention the game was 2E, just not in the title itself. It got like 10 hits. I had to pick and choose the best applicants from them all, because even I would be hard pressed to run a game with over 10 players.

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Halaster-Blackcloak
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Re: Stuck at that editions crossroads.....still.

Post#8 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:46 pm

JadedDM wrote:

Maybe so. And that's sort of part of the problem. If I say to someone, "Hey, want to join my 2E game?" It almost feels like false advertising, or even outright lying. I need to then add a whole bunch of disclaimers, or else they walk into my game with different expectations and sometimes get upset or annoyed by it.


I'm wondering if it might work to say something like:

"2E-based AD&D game, with plenty of tweaks and house rules - inquire for more info"

And possibly adding something creative like:

"An edition you've played before, and yet have never before played."

Sorta get them wanting more info. I wonder if that might get more hits just out of sheer curiosity. You might be able to customize a game for a particular set of players.

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garhkal
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Re: Stuck at that editions crossroads.....still.

Post#9 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:55 pm

Billy_Buttcheese wrote:Perhaps you might consider getting your player's opinions by a secret ballot or something for the version you play. If you already have the 5th Ed books and that's the edition most of your group wants, try to look for ways to make it feel more old school to you. Most players that aren't interested in being DMs would never know if you were house ruling something on the fly anyway. Face it, every version is house-ruled to some degree.


That's a good point. If you say, have 6 players, only 2 of which wish 5e, but 3 of the others want 2e and 1 doesn't care, Why saddle the 3 players wanting 2e games, with having to play 5e?

JadedDM wrote:But it affects me the other way, too. Because I've had people turn down joining my game, because they hear '2E' and immediately dismiss it, because they think I'm using level limits, etc.


I've had several players like that too.. Two actually played one session, before they said "na, this ain't my cup-o-tea, i am going back to 5e/pathfinder, but thanks for putting up with me".. One though said, i DESPISE those who use level limits, even if the PLAYERS made the call (which they did), and so rage-quitted the group.

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